Tubing, NJ’s great redneck activity (Opinion)
I’ve had root canals before. People make a big deal of them, like they’re the worst thing. Sure there’s some pain. And that burning smell is odd. But you’ll be lounged back. No one is going to make any demand on you for almost an hour. No kids are going to ask for anything unreasonable. You can just close your eyes and realize this root canal is the closest thing you’re going to have to a vacation this year.
My point is, I would rather have a root canal than go tubing.
New Jersey Monthly ran an article extolling the virtues and wonders of tubing on the Delaware River. Consider this the rebuttal.
In the piece “Try Tubing Down The Delaware River” they talk a good game. It mentions how several tubing companies offer self-guided floats of five to six miles that last two to three hours.
Huh. A whole 2 miles per hour? I’ve jumped out of a perfectly good airplane at 16,500 feet in free fall and I’ve flown ride-along with The Blue Angels. Tubing is slightly less invigorating.
Which isn’t the point anyway, I know. The point is to relax and take in nature. But you’re on your back in a giant rubber ass gasket that you have no real control of just floating like the white feather in “Forrest Gump.”
Only the feather is wet.
You know what a wet feather smells like?
The correct answer is: better than you will when you’re done tubing. That bouquet of river water infused with algae and bugs combined with beer sweat. Because you’ll be so bored floating at 2 mph down this dumb river that you won’t be able to not drink.
If you do it like I used to do it in West Virginia one of your tubing friends will have attached a cord to a floating beer cooler on one end and his tube on the other. His name will usually be something like Cooter or Tiberius. He’ll scratch often then open your beer for you even when you asked him not to.
At some point as you’re an hour into your painfully slow roll down this river you’ll check the time and not believe you have another two hours to go. You’ll wish you were anywhere else. Even dead. You’ll think how if you had a jet ski this would actually be fun.
When the agony is over you’ll check yourself for leeches and ticks. Tiberius, having done this all his life, will offer to help you check and remembering how he kept opening your beers you’ll decline.
Once home you’ll have the peaceful feeling of it being over. That night you’ll dream of how the day could have been better. Hitchhiking in a traffic circle. Changing a tire in an active EZ-Pass lane at a Turnpike toll plaza. Things like that.
But hey, I’m no New Jersey Monthly, so what do I know?
Oh, maybe you could have one of those high-end tubes with an entertainment system on board. This could be your in-float movie…
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.